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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Emotional procession for fallen Decatur Township firefighter

The Decatur Township Fire Department is mourning the death of one its own.
Procession for fallen Decatur Township firefighter Lieutenant Tracy Hayden. (WTHR)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — An emotional processions was held Friday for a fallen Decatur Township firefighter.

Lieutenant Tracy Hayden died on Saturday after a fight with leukemia.

It's the first line of duty death in the history of the Decatur Township Fire Department.

The fire believed responsible for Lt. Hayden’s death happened four years ago. He was diagnosed with leukemia in April. After 17 years with the Decatur Township Fire Department, he lost a 7-month battle with leukemia Saturday. Fellow firefighters believe the cause of that cancer can be traced to prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals at a fire he investigated in October 2015.

Lt. Hayden is survived by his wife, Tammy, and two young sons. (Tammy Hayden photo)

A stubborn fire burned for a couple days in a storage building in a wooded area at 5453 Seerley Road near Interstate 70. Hayden and fellow investigators learned the fire was fueled by toxic chemicals stored for years at what became an EPA cleanup site. Five containers believed to be metallic (elemental) potassium were involved in the fire.

Hayden was promoted to Lieutenant in 2011 and to Division Chief of Fire and Life Safety in 2014. He investigated fires and worked in fire education with schools and businesses.

Lt. Hayden was 38 years old and is survived by his wife, Tammy, and two young sons.

He was laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery.

Kids hold flags along a procession route for fallen firefighter Lieutenant Tracy Hayden. (WTHR)